Construction and rehabilitation work on the Kwekwe-Nkayi Road has begun, with engineers already on site.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Jorum Gumbo said the project was part of the Nkayi-Lupane-Victoria Falls Road rehabilitation project.
Dr Gumbo said the engineers will begin by tarring a 15-kilometre stretch along the Kwekwe-Nkayi Road.
“We have begun work along that road, which is part of our long term project, the Nkayi-Victoria Falls long term project,” he said. “I am happy that we are undertaking that project as a ministry.
“For the time being, we will be tarring the 15 kilometre stretch that has been lying idle for many years before getting into the main project.”
Dr Gumbo said construction work will have to continue despite financial challenges that the ministry was facing.
“We are not stopping,” he said. “I am happy we are doing the project on our own as a ministry although we are faced with financial challenges. But we have to do the project because the more we delay doing the road, the more we delay development.” Dr Gumbo said the ministry flighted tenders for a number of road construction and rehabilitation work across the country, but was awaiting approval by new body that replaced the State Procurement Board.
“We have advertised for interested companies to come for adjudication for various road rehabilitation projects across the country,” he said. “But as you know we are delayed by Government processes.”
Other projects lined up are the Rutenga-Chikwalakwala Road, Mberengwa-West Nicholson, Tsholotsho-Madlambuzi, Mapisa-Binga Road and the Harare-Mutare Highway dualisation project.
Dr Gumbo urged Government to speed up the process of releasing funds, saying they had been facing challenges as a ministry in accessing funding.
“Since the replacing of the State Procurement Board (SPB) by the PRAAZ, things have not been moving on smoothly,” he said. “We urge Government to look into that matter urgently as it is hindering development.”
The ministry has also engaged a number of Government departments, including the Treasury.
“As you are aware, our projects require a lot of funding so there is no way we can ignore the ministry of finance.” said Dr Gumbo. “We are using our own funding, but whenever we feel we require more funding we make a request to Treasury.”